Can A Perfume "Sit Badly"? 9 Questions To Jacques Cavallier Belletrud

Can a perfume "sit badly"? 9 questions for the master perfumer at Louis Vuitton-Jacques Cavallier Belletrud


Can a perfume "sit badly" like a piece of clothing?

You wear fragrances because you love them. It's rare that I smell perfume and it doesn't go with the look. At least at first glance with someone, I don't know. I trust people's tastes. I love introducing my perfumes to a woman who wears jeans and special shoes. I like contrasts, not the total look.

Is it a question of age to wear classic flowers like a mimosa?

No no. It depends on the way. Mimosa or violets are perceived as very classic in the perfume world, the latter even as "old fashion". That's not true. I already presented the ingredients in a modern way in the 60s and 70s and do it all the more today. The mimosa itself has no age. Dynamic, fresh, fruity - it all depends on the combination as in cooking. It's been like that forever.


Has perfume always been age-free?

The perfume was once intended for a sedate woman. Not for singles, maybe for fiancés. It had a social rather than an aesthetic symbolism. Fortunately that is over today. What's more, young people are again specifically looking for vintage perfumes because we have no limits. Also in the creativity that emerges from me and also from my daughter. Always attentive to claim, elegance and fascination.

Your 20-year-old daughter Camille works in your team. Is your presence noticeable as a younger generation?

Very. She is young. She is a woman and the first in our family of perfumers who will be working as such in five decades. She has a feeling for things. She is currently working on a precise project and I am excited to see what she will show me. Even if I'm 15 mentally myself - which is sometimes a problem: my wife would say it is tiring at times (laughs). She brings in new views. She has the craziness of her father and is learning to express it in front of me. My father was surprised when people told him about my idiosyncratic creativity. He was much stricter than me, but probably very pleased to hear such things.


The video with Emma Stone as the testimonial of the "Les Parfums" line was viewed 15 million times. How do you perceive social media?

I love it! I have a private Instagram account and am networked with family, my daughters, and friends. But we are the youth of the social media era. With regard to perfumes, she pushes all brands towards transparency. As long as it doesn't turn into a dictatorship and a commercial competition, I think it's wonderful that people around the world have the same information about products and can also exchange ideas about them.

Is the transparency also growing in the production method of perfumes and aspects such as sustainability?

Of course. It's very important, but it's also a trend today. In the perfume world, you always want to use natural ingredients and work with people who stand behind them. That was and is not always the case. We do our best to see where the ingredients come from. We pay a lot of attention to the suppliers. And we purchase the raw materials directly in Grasse from those I trust. We work together with various world-famous companies. It is very important to me not to use the catchphrase for communication and marketing and to use it now if we have worked that way up to now anyway.

Can perfumes be a social statement today?

They will, thanks to younger people. Nothing is fake, nothing more untrue, that's all through. The trendsetters have something to tell and say. Who would have thought 15 years ago that we would wear suits and shoes like that (pointing to his sneakers)? Thanks to Virgil Abloh and Balenciaga and all the other houses steeped in history. I look at every fashion week and also a lot of fashion. You can feel it when something sprouts. And that in turn influences what I do. So yes, it comes slowly.


In the past, travel was characterized by elegance, a look at the Louis Vuitton archives is enough. Are you getting nostalgic?

Not at all. I'm not nostalgic, but I respect the past and what was before. At Louis Vuitton in particular, it's a tribute to everyone who worked here before us. The brand has always stood for innovation, creation, and modernity. It is probably the most innovative in luxury goods. And it's not without reason that we're number one among luxury brands. Because we transcribe DNA and foundations. This means to create innovative feelings for new things with the same values. With "Heures d'Absence" the name is fantastic and it is timeless. It is a projection into the future for something that will last forever.

Where do you see the Future of perfume?

Today we see the majority in the mass market. And next to it the "Premiere Brand Parfums" at Chanel, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton. What is particularly new is the behavior of young people who are more demanding and who shape them. In everything: fashion, films, nutrition, and even perfumes. They want to know more about it and understand it. I watch them come into the stores and ask questions. You inform yourself. They don't just want to buy. Spending money is easy, it's about weighing what you are spending it on.

P.S. Questions are translated from an interview

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